The two-bite pecan tarts satisfy the sweet tooth with far less guilt than pecan pie.

2 dozen cookies II Active Time: 50 minutes II Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 4 ounces pitted dried dates (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting or whipped cream for garnish

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare crust: Pulse flour, brown sugar, walnuts, cornstarch, 2 tablespoons butter and salt in a food processor (a mini food processor works well) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Divide the crust mixture among the prepared mini muffin cups (about 1 1/4 teaspoons per cup) and press evenly into the bottoms.
  3. To prepare filling: Combine dates, water, brown sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has cooked away, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then process the date mixture in a blender or food processor until processed into a paste. Add cream cheese and vanilla; blend or process to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in pecans. Divide the date-nut filling among muffin cups (1 generous teaspoon each), gently pressing the filling down and smoothing the tops.
  4. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is lightly cooked, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the crust with a small spatula or butter knife and transfer the tassies to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Nutrition

Per cookie: 93 Calories; 6 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 7 mg Cholesterol; 10 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 24 mg Sodium; 60 mg Potassium

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. | Equipment: 24-cup mini muffin pan or two 12-cup mini muffin pans
  • Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure tender baked goods. Find it in the baking section of the supermarket or online at bobsredmill.com and kingarthurflour.com.
  • Storage smarts: To extend the life of your baked goods, store them in an airtight container in a single layer or between layers of parchment paper to prevent sticking.

– From EatingWell: November/December 2009

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